International FAQs for COVID-19

Students who are planning to return to Australia should ensure they meet the relevant vaccination requirement before making arrangements to attend campus. Although the Australian Government does not require you to provide evidence of your vaccination status, you are required to provide this information to La Trobe.

I am currently overseas, what vaccination requirement do I need to meet for me to return to on campus study?

Under the University’s Health and Safety Procedure – COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Measures, all staff and students attending our campuses or events (including placements) must be fully vaccinated or hold a valid recognised medical exemption.

Although the Australian Government does not require you to provide evidence of your vaccination status, you are required to provide this information to La Trobe.

If you are enrolled in a subject with compulsory face-to-face learning, you must complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Status form as soon as possible.

Your progression and course completion date may be impacted if you are unable to demonstrate your compliance with the University Health and Safety Procedure.

If you have any further concerns, please contact the University’s Student Complaints Office by submitting a form via the Complaints and Feedback website or email

What does studying online mean for me as an international student? Will it impact my student visa and CoE?

Selected classes will continue to be delivered online or in hybrid mode to support learning for students who are unable to travel to Australia or have ‘at-risk’ attributes for COVID-19. Please check your LMS site regularly for subject updates.

The Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that studying online during this disruptive time is permitted and should not impact on your visa. La Trobe will maintain your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) provided you are enrolled in either on-campus or off-campus (online) subjects and you are in Australia or located in another country, as long as your course enrolment status remains on campus.

What if I need more time to complete my course?

If you prefer to pause your studies, we can assist you. Please contact International Student Support for advice on how to proceed. For sponsored students or US Financial Aid students please discuss your situation with the Sponsored Programs Team .

What if I cannot study a full-time course load?

Not all of your subjects may be able to be studied online at this time. This is called underloading and is permitted under these special circumstances. If an underload is unavoidable, you need to try as much as possible to update your study plan to match your CoE end date. You will need to catch up and this may require enrolling in Summer or Winter subjects or extending your CoE and visa, and health insurance. Please contact ASK La Trobe.

For Teacher Education placements, you are able to continue with your subject and your result may be entered as SAHA (Supplementary Additional Hurdle Assessment) on your transcript until the placement hurdle has been successfully completed.

What if none of my subjects are available online?

If none of your subjects are available to study online then you will need to defer if you are a new student or take leave of absence if you are a continuing student. Please contact ASK La Trobe for advice and we will work with you and your course coordinator to identify a new study plan for you.

Am I eligible for the student visa application fee waiver?

We’ll provide you with a completed fee waiver form if all of the following apply:

  • you held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020
  • you couldn’t complete your course within your original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19
  • you haven’t already applied for a new student visa (you won’t get a refund if you’ve already applied)
  • your student visa expires within the next three months (we encourage you to apply no later than six weeks before your visa expires).

We won’t be able to give you a fee waiver form if the reason you require a new visa:

  • is not related to COVID-19 (including in cases where you took a leave of absence, deferred your course, reduced your study load or failed subjects before semester one 2020), or
  • is because you’ve started a new course due to a course transfer.

To apply for the fee waiver form

  1. Read the information on the Department of Home Affairs’ student visa page.
  2. Submit statement explaining why the impacts of COVID-19 meant you couldn’t complete your course within your original student visa duration when you apply for an updated CoE, by completing the online Application for Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) form.
  3. You will be required to renew your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) to cover the duration of your new visa when you apply for a CoE. Your receipt of payment is proof of renewal.
  4. You must apply for your new student visa online. For more information refer to student visa (subclass 500).

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. Please note, visa application fee refunds will not be available for students who have already applied for a Student visa. Decisions on the award of a student visa application fee waiver are made by the Department of Home affairs and not La Trobe University.

For more information, visit the Student Visa fee waiver eligibility (form 1545) FAQ.

Are international students eligible for financial assistance if they cannot work due to quarantine/isolation requirements?

The Federal Government has reinstated its Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment. The scheme will run between 20 July 2022 (back dated to 1 July 2022) to 30 September 2022. If you cannot work due to quarantining/isolation requirement you may be eligable for payment under this scheme (see Accessing the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment as an International Student). Please check the Services Australia website for specific eligibility and application requirements.

Students may apply to the University for additional support or financial assistance if they are experiencing significant hardship.

For more information, visit the Financial Counselling webpage.

Additional information is available on the Wellbeing support during COVID-19 webpage.

Am I eligible for a refund of OSHC for the period I was studying online offshore?

If you choose to use the University’s preferred OSHC provider, Medibank, you may be able eligible to apply for a refund for the period of cover for when you were studying online outside Australia.

You will be required to show evidence of airline tickets or boarding passes returning home and back to Australia, which cover the dates you were outside of Australia.

If you choose another OSHC provider, you will need to contact that provider to seek advice.